HC Yellow No. 5

What Is It?

HC Yellow No. 5, which refers to Hair Colorant Yellow No. 5, occurs as yellow to orange crystals or powder. HC Yellow No. 5 is used in the formulation of semi-permanent hair dyes, colors and tints

Why Is It Used?

HC Yellow No. 5 helps to impart a color to hair. The exact color obtained will depend on the other ingredients that are used in the preparation and the starting color of the hair.

Scientific Facts

HC Yellow No. 5 is used in semi-permanent hair coloring systems that are usually applied in a shampoo base and contain thickeners, alkalizers, and foam stabilizers. HC Yellow No. 5 is also used as a toner in permanent hair coloring systems where color is produced inside the hair fiber. The color that is produced results from careful formulation of the product so that the ingredients interact in a highly controlled process.

Safety Information

The safety of HC Yellow No. 5 has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that HC Yellow No. 5 was safe as a hair dye ingredient.

CIR Safety Review:

Absorption of HC Yellow No. 5 was minimal through skin (less than 0.2%). No significant toxic effects were observed after chronic oral exposure to HC Yellow No. 5. Mild dermal irritation, but no dermal sensitization or ocular irritation was observed in laboratory tests. Results of fertility and reproductive performance, and developmental studies were negative. HC Yellow No. 5 was found to be non-mutagenic and non-cytotoxic in standard laboratory assays.

A current review of the hair dye epidemiology literature identified that use of direct hair dyes, while not the focus in all investigations, appears to have little evidence of an association with cancer or other adverse events. The CIR Expert Panel recognized that hair dye epidemiology studies do not address the safety of individual hair dyes. Based on the available safety test data on HC Yellow No. 5, the CIR Expert Panel determined that this ingredient would not likely have carcinogenic potential as used in hair dyes.

More information about the safety of hair dyes.

HC Yellow No. 5 is not permitted for use in hair dye products in the European Union (see Annex II).

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation: http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/consumers/product_labelling_and_packaging/co0013_en.htm

More Scientific Information

HC Yellow No. 5 is a direct hair dye also known as 2-[(2-amino-4-nitrophenyl) amino] ethanol. Hair dyeing formulations belong to three categories – temporary, semi-permanent and permanent coloring of hair. Temporary coloring preparations, often called color rinses, provide color which lasts until the first shampooing. Ingredients which impart temporary color may have a fairly high molecular weight and are unable to penetrate the hair shaft. These materials are simply deposited onto the hair fiber and are removed by subsequent shampooing. Semi-permanent coloring preparations generally provide color through several shampooings. These materials are often low molecular weight pre-formed dyes which can penetrate the hair shaft to some extent.


The FDA’s factsheet on Hair Dye Products http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductandIngredientSafety/ProductInformati…

Search the FDA Code of Federal Regulations http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm

EU Cosmetic Ingredients Inventory http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/cosmetics/cosing/